Good Samaritan rescues 2-year-old kidnapped girl

Good Samaritan Melba Nash Williams heard a Levi's Call on the news, the morning of Oct. 16, and prayed for the kidnapped girl. Driving home for lunch, Ms. Williams chanced upon the stolen vehicle and managed to set the child free.

Kent D. Johnson/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP
Good Samaritan Melba Nash Williams, left, speaks with Charity Gibson, the mother of missing 2-year-old Myrai Robinson. Ms. Williams found her daughter unharmed in the parking lot of Lithonia High School in Lithonia, Ga., Oct. 16, 2012.

Fulton, Ark., native Melba Nash Williams is being lauded as a hero for rescuing a 2-year-old who had been kidnapped during a car theft Tuesday, Oct. 16, in Georgia.

Ms. Williams, who graduated from Arkansas High School in 1971, said she was praying for the child after a Levi's Call, much like an Amber Alert, was issued at 9:30 a.m., Oct. 16, by Georgia emergency officials.

"I saw it on the news, and I began praying," said Williams, who moved from Texarkana, Ark., to Georgia in 2000.

The Levi's Call reported that a gray 2010 Dodge Caravan was stolen from a local church in Lithonia, Ga. The van was driven by the child's caregiver, who had left the child in the van, along with the keys, while she went inside the church. Minutes later, the caretaker went back to the parking lot to find the vehicle missing, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Williams, a patient care technician, said it was reported that the van had a back window broken out that was covered in plastic.

"I was driving home [for lunch] to get a bite to eat and saw a gray van at the high school a couple blocks from my house," Williams said. "It had plastic on the window, and I said to myself, 'Oh, my gosh, that could be the van.'"

Williams said at 1 p.m. on Oct. 16, she approached the van by foot to make sure an adult was not present.

"At about three or four feet, I spotted the child in the van. She was screaming, so I called 911."

Williams said she stayed near the van and reassured the child as she talked with a dispatcher.

"Your mama's coming. It's going to be all right," Williams recalls saying.

Williams said the child, Myrai Robinson, immediately stopped crying.

"I was so nervous; my love for children overpowered that. I knew God had my back. I didn't think about the danger when I approached the van," Williams said. "[Myrai] was in the van for 2 - 1/2 to 3 hours. I thought, 'What if that were one of my grandbabies?'"

News reports said the Levi's Call was issued because Myrai was believed to be in extreme danger, according to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

Billboards on highways across the state alerted fellow drivers about the missing girl, news reports said.

Williams said as soon as the ambulance arrived, EMTs retrieved the girl and handed the child to Williams. Myrai was unharmed.

"I have grandbabies and great-grandbabies and nieces and nephews. She was crying, so I rubbed her back," Williams said.

Eventually, the child's mother arrived, and the two were reunited, reports state.

RELATED: Top 5 bullying myths - What you don't know about bullying

The caregiver faces multiple charges, including reckless conduct, news reports state.

The person who took the van is still at large, Williams said.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.